Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

The Old West was never an easy place—and even harder if you believe all those old movies. That was doubly true for a woman, especially one whose husband has just been shot multiple times … and whose assailants are still lookin' for the both of 'em.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Things weren't always so desperate for Jane Ballard. In fact, it wasn't that long ago—seven years, to be precise—that it looked as if happily ever after was dawning at the edge of the western horizon (if you'll forgive the metaphorical mix-up). She'd met a good man, Dan Frost, fallen in love, gotten engaged and gotten pregnant (though she never bothered to share that latter fact with her fiancé). They were all set to travel west to California when the Civil War intervened and Dan felt compelled (despite Jane's pleading) to serve in the Union army.

So Dan went to war … and didn't come back.

Wracked with grief, the pretty single mother decided she needed a fresh start out in New Mexico Territory, where it was rumored silver flowed like a river. She soon found someone heading that way, a man named John Bishop, who is reportedly looking to plant a new town.

Naive Jane took John at his word that he would offer her safe passage. But by the time they arrive, it's painfully clear that he has other plans for her. Plans to permanently "lodge" her in a brothel. Plans that the vulnerable Jane has no power to resist if she wants to provide for her baby daughter, Mary.

But, as often happens in Westerns, Jane's helped by another man. Bill Hammond, one of Bishop's lackeys, can't countenance the fact that Jane's being forced into prostitution. And when it looks as if Bishop's ordered one of his gang (and that's what they are, a gang) to kill little Mary, well, it's the last straw for a man who's decided it's finally time to do the right thing.

Hammond busts Jane out of Bishop's brothel in a hail of bullets, and, we're told, the two get hitched. But they're always looking over their shoulders, always casting a wary eye toward the horizon on the lookout for John Bishop and his perpetually pursuing bullies.

And then Jane finds out that Dan wasn't dead after all, and that he'd been looking for her for years …

… which is pretty good news for Jane after Bishop's boys pump her husband full of lead and vow that they're coming after her to finish the job once and for all.


Positive Elements

The concepts of loss and redemption are common in Westerns, and here Jane plows through them as if they were thick prairie topsoil. She's borne her burdens bravely, and she stoically cares for her wounded husband, telling him she will not leave him alone to die, even when he encourages her to flee. We also see her love for her daughters. (She has another one after marrying Hammond.)

Jane humbles herself in seeking help from her former fiancé, Dan. And he comes to her rescue when she's nearly raped. From there, Dan helps her plan and fortify her home's defenses.

Dan tells Jane that it was picturing her in his mind that gave him the "will and purpose" to stay alive in the war and when he was captured. Later he sagely adds, "A man loses his purpose, that's when a man dies." And while there is something of a renewed spark between Dan and Jane, she never quits faithfully tending to her husband and hoping he'll recover.

It may not be the one Jane first dreamed of, but there's even a happy ending tied onto this tale of woe. It's an outcome that's foreshadowed by the movie's first poignant scene, one in which Jane tells her second daughter a bedtime story that prompts the youngster to ask, "Do good people ever turn bad?" To which her mom hopefully replies, "No, good people never turn bad."

Spiritual Content

Passing references (in dialogue and a song) are made to perdition. The song also says that "'In God We Trust' won't go very far" or "stop a bullet." Dan describes surviving the Civil War as going "to hell and back."

Sexual Content

Dan talks about bedding numerous girls besides Jane. We see him kissing her. And we see Jane kissing Hammond, too.

A naked man plays a piano. (We see his backside.) Gaudily clad prostitutes are shown, as are small paintings of naked women. A paying "customer" lies on top of Jane, who is crying. One of Bishop's men calls Jane his boss's "prize whore," and it's clear that Bishop sees Jane as his property.

With the implication being that it's happened before, a man attempts to rape Jane …

Violent Content

… after viciously throwing her to the ground. Jane manages to shoot him, and he's the first of perhaps 20 to 25 characters who meet their end on the receiving end of one of Jane's or Dan's bullets.

One of those is a man Dan shoots several times, dispatching him execution-style with a bullet to the chest. Likewise, Jane shoots a baddie several times before finally capping him in the head. The pair rigs an improvised explosive trench in front of the house, burying bottles of kerosene, shards of glass and nails. Dan ignites it with a gunshot, setting screaming men on fire before they're gunned down one by one.

Jane and Dan sustain gunshot wounds themselves, of course. We see Jane digging slugs out of her husband's back, which oozes and bleeds.

When they're not already shooting, men threaten one another with guns. Bishop tortures a man for information with a wire garrote, which he tightens when he doesn't get the answers he wants. (It's implied that the man is choked to death.) We hear talk of hangings, dead bodies, etc.

Crude or Profane Language

Three f-words. Five or six s-words. God's name is paired with "d--n" three or four times. There's also one to three each of "h---," "b--ch," "pr-ck," "p---" and "b--tard." We hear one use of "c--ks---er."

Drug and Alcohol Content

Characters drink alcohol throughout, and scenes take place in saloons. In the wake of the war and not being able to find Jane, Dan turns to the bottle for solace, frequently sipping from his ever-present flask. Jane medicates her husband with liquor while digging those bullets out of his back. For much of the movie, he keeps a big bottle at his bedside and drinks from it repeatedly.

Other Negative Elements

Some stealing and lying, of course. Dan shows great contempt for Hammond, whom he thinks is a common criminal not worthy of Jane. He crudely suggests that Hammond should just urinate on himself to warm up when he's cold.


Jane Got a Gun is a strenuous saga of survival with an outcome as unexpectedly upbeat as the rest of the move is stoic, grim and violent.

Jane and Dan had longed for a life of love and laughter together. Alas, for seven very hard years at least, they got the opposite. That has turned both of them into scarred, hardened human beings. Jane tells Dan, "That girl you rode so far to see, I ain't her no more. Life stopped being something you live … to something you endure." And for his part, Dan says, "The only point of a battle, Jane, is to end it in your favor. Kill the other guy, otherwise he'll kill you. … This is not how I pictured life turning out, Jane."

In a strange, violent way, Dan and Jane both can coldly dispatch Wild West-style "justice" with nary a second thought. And the film passes no judgment on their brutal actions. This movie's not really even about that, though it's an important point. The thematic center here is really about coping with deep loss when life pilfers our hopes and dreams. Jane has chosen a better path than Dan, marrying a man who risks his life to rescue her from sexual slavery. Dan, meanwhile, has lost heart and hope altogether, trading both for the bottle.

He finds both of those things again when he comes to Jane's defense, but even then there's much bitterness to be sifted through (not to mention flasks of liquor to be sucked down).

That such a hard-edged movie about loss and retribution ends happily only makes the juxtaposition of those thematic extremes feel all the more jarring. Well, maybe not only. I'm glad this story ends in a place of hope and redemption. But a whole lot of bullets find their final resting places in bad guys' skulls before that riding-off-into-sunset scene finally comes to the rescue.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!